World Snooker Championship: Shaun Murphy holds off Judd Trump to reach semi-finals


Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Shaun Murphy withstood a brilliant fightback by Judd Trump to complete the semi-final line-up at the World Championship in Sheffield.

Having trailed 10-6 the momentum looked to be with Trump when he levelled at 11-11 with a superb break of 111.

However, Murphy regained his lead with a composed 70 before a break of 62 helped seal a fine 13-11 win.

Earlier on Wednesday Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham all advanced to the last four.

Murphy will face Wilson next while Selby will play Bingham when the one-table format begins on Thursday in the best-of-33 semi-finals.

The 2005 champion Murphy had gone into Wednesday evening’s concluding session seemingly on top form, underlined by breaks of 85, 104 and 124, which helped him establish a commanding lead.

But he made just one break over 30 until Trump drew level and spent long periods in his seat watching the world number one go through his potting repertoire.

“I feel like the character from the Rocky IV film, who was pummelled by the Russian [boxer] for an hour,” Murphy said.

“Some of the shots Judd kicked off with tonight were ridiculous and they kept going in. I just dug in when I eventually got my chance.

“The more momentum he got the louder his supporters got – 90% of my last two hours were horrific. When I got my chance I was thrilled I made it count.”

Selby had no such problems, thrashing fellow three-time champion Williams 13-3 to win with a session to spare while Wilson reeled off five frames in a row to complete a commanding 13-8 victory over 2010 winner Robertson.

But Bingham had to come through a dramatic final-frame decider against Anthony McGill to progress to the last four.

Scotland’s McGill had looked the most likely victor when he made a brilliant 106 to extend his overnight lead to 10-7.

However, 2015 champion Bingham, who came through qualifying, responded in superb fashion with breaks of 85, 90 and 91 as he won five consecutive frames.

A see-saw encounter then saw McGill win two frames in a row to level the match at 12-12 before Bingham clinched victory in sensational fashion with a break of 125.

Selby moves into a different gear

Leading 6-2 overnight, Selby looked back to his best as he made breaks of 96, 58 and 66 en route to winning the opening four frames of the day.

Williams, who last won the world title in 2018, briefly rallied with a 79 before Selby completed his win.

“He totally outplayed me,” Williams said. “I thought he was brilliant from start to finish. His potting was better and his safety was better, which is not that easy to do.

“If Judd Trump, Kyren Wilson and the others are all playing well and Selby is playing well, he is in a different class to the lot of them.

“If he keeps playing like that he is better than anyone else in the game and I think he will win it.”

Meanwhile, Wilson reached his third Crucible semi-final after dispatching one of the pre-tournament favourites in Australia’s Robertson.

With the match delicately poised at 8-8 overnight Wilson, who beat Judd Trump at the same stage last year, opened up with a superb break of 133 before moving 11-8 ahead.

Last year’s beaten finalist also won a scrappy 20th frame to leave Robertson needing to win all five remaining frames, and a composed break of 84 saw Wilson confirm a comprehensive win.

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